Jewish Community President in Germany calls shooting in Halle shocking

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 10, 2019   •   380

The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany Josef Schuster speaks during a commemoration event at the synagogue Rykestrasse in Berlin, Germany, 09 November 2018.  EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN

The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, called the synagogue shooting in Halle shocking and criticized the lack of protection of the synagogue by local authorities.

“We have not experienced an incident of this kind ever before in Germany. It shows that right-wing extremism is not only some kind of political development, but that it is highly dangerous and exactly the kind of danger that we have always warned against”, Schuster said on Wednesday (October 9).

He also called for a better protection of the Jewish community in general.

Two people were killed in shooting attacks on a synagogue and a kebab bistro in the eastern German city of Halle and one suspect was arrested, but two others fled in a hijacked a car, officials said.

The violence occurred on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the calendar in Judaism when Jews fast, seeking atonement.—Reuters

Obligatory mask wearing comes into force in Germany

UNTV News   •   April 28, 2020

Germany on Monday introduced various forms of face mask obligations making it compulsory for most of the country on public transport, and regional trains and in shops.

All but one of Germany’s 16 states introduced legislation on Monday with the country’s northern state of Schleswig-Holstein due to follow suit on Wednesday.

Germany’s transport ministry on Monday said they were pushing for the Maskenpflicht (compulsory mask wearing) to be extended to long-distance trains.

Fines for failing to wear a face covering across the states range from a verbal warning, 15 euros up to 5000 euros. The higher fines are aimed at businesses not complying with regulations.

According to the Robert Koch Institute Germany currently has 155,193 corona cases and 5,750 fatalities to date. (Reuters)

(Production: Stephane Nietschke, Timm Reichert, Oliver Barth, Tanya Wood)

Germany arrests four Tajiks suspected of planning attack against U.S. bases

UNTV News   •   April 15, 2020

German police on Wednesday (April 15) arrested four suspected members of Islamic State, all from Tajikistan, believed to have been planning deadly attacks in Germany, including against unidentified U.S. installations, an official said.

Special forces in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia made the arrests near the cities of Essen and Duesseldorf and raided properties in the area.

Prosecutors suspect the four men, with a fifth who has been in detention for the last year, of being in contact with leading members of Islamic State in Afghanistan and Syria and of receiving instructions from them.

“There were concrete attack plans, such as against two U.S. air bases in Germany,” said North Rhine-Westphalia’s state interior minister Herbert Reul.

Prosecutors said in a written statement they believed the suspects had already carried out surveillance of their targets and were procuring weapons, ammunition and components for a bomb.

Prosecutors identified the suspects as Azizjon B., Muhammadali G., Farhodshoh K. and Sunatullokh K., in line with German privacy rules. The fifth man who is already in detention was identified as Ravsan B. (Reuters)

(Production: Stephane Nitschke, Michele Sani)

Coronavirus divides lovers, friends at Swiss-German border fences

UNTV News   •   April 6, 2020

Constance, Germany, and Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, are divided cities these days, with a strip of grass and two fences separating them after the countries closed their borders to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

In a park on Lake Constance’s shoreline residents of both cities normally move freely across an invisible line marking where one nation ends and the other begins. But everything has changed: Most Germans cannot come to Switzerland, most Swiss are barred from Germany.

On Sunday, lovers, brothers and sisters, parents and their children, and old friends pressed against the chain links in the spring sunshine, just close enough to say “I love you”, too far apart to touch.

“This is our only chance to stand across from each other, face-to-face,” said Jean-Pierre Walter, a Swiss who drove an hour from Zurich to see his German partner, Maja Bulic. “We can at least speak to each other. That’s something.”

For weeks, they have telephoned or spoken over FaceTime. But fiber optic is no substitute for flesh and blood.

“At some point, you have to see somebody in person,” said Bulic, who drove 2-1/2 hours from near Heidelberg. “It’s difficult, but I know one day it will be different.”

This is a coronavirus no-man’s land. It traces the route of a barbed wire-topped barrier that split Switzerland and Germany during World War Two and that was removed long ago.

The fences have become a meeting point for people divided by the epidemic – and a reminder of its disruption for Europeans accustomed to traveling where they please. Switzerland is not in the European Union, but agreements allow Swiss and the bloc’s citizens to travel virtually unfettered, in normal times. (REUTERS CONNECT)

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